Benjamin Li
Jun 17, 2013

Bates and JWT to form joint venture in Hong Kong to handle HSBC

HONG KONG - Bates CHI & Partners and JWT will form a joint venture in early July to handle the HSBC account, with Conrad Chiu heading up the new operation.

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Chiu, currently Greater China CEO for Bates CHI & Partners, will leave his current role in early July to assume the role of CEO in the joint venture, which is yet to be officially named.

The joint venture will have a team of 40 to handle HSBC’s Asia-Pacific retail banking and wealth management advertising account out of Hong Kong. JWT and Bates joined forces to pitch for and win the account during HSBC's recent global review. 

The dedicated, operationally independent unit will "fully harness the operational and human resources of both companies to elevate the services we provide to HSBC", said Tom Doctoroff, CEO, Asia-Pacific, and North Asia CEO at JWT. Doctoroff used the term "the Hub" in reference to the joint venture, but it's unclear whether this is to be the official name. 

Bates Chi & Partners is built around a collaboration model, and this joint venture is an example of that model working, David Mayo, CEO of Bates CHI & Partners, told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

Mayo asserted that that Bates CHI & Partners is not closing in Hong Kong. "What we’re doing is we’re not closing the agency, [but] forming a new JV with JWT and Bates and housing the HSBC business and other Bates businesses like Cheong Kong Holding and Henderson Land."
 
Tak Chi Lee, most recently client services director at Ogilvy, will be appointed as managing director for Bates CHI & Partners in Hong Kong. "Tak will lead the implementation of a new plan, which will include a new office space, some new clients and a new management lineup in Hong Kong," Mayo said.

"I thank [Chiu] for what he has done in leading Bates to where it is today, and I cannot imagine a more worthy successor than Tak, who from my direct experience is an A-class operator," Mayo said.

Chiu could not be reached for comment today.

As director of client services at Ogilvy Hong Kong, Tak has worked across both regional and Hong Kong operations. He is the latest of a number of high-profile Ogilvy personnel to step across to help re-launch the Bates network.

The new team will be based at JWT offices in Quarry Bay. Bates CHI Hong Kong's existing office lease ends in September, so the remaining Bates CHI employees will relocate to Ogilvy's offices in The Centre.

As reported last January, Bates China has integrated Bates Shanghai with MeThink Group, a local agency that Bates acquired in 2007.

HSBC's global agency review, which lasted from November 2012 to March 2013, also saw Saatchi & Saatchi win the brand's premium banking account, while Grey won advertising for its commercial banking and global banking and markets.

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